War on Drugs
The War on Drugs isn't working. That's a heck of a thing for
a drug and alcohol rehab website to say! Many view the War on
Drugs as propaganda and rhetoric with no real teeth. Money spent
on the War on Drug in 2005 is expected to top $50 billion dollars
in the U. S. with $20 billion coming from the federal government
and $30 billion coming from state governments.
The War on Drugs in the U. S. has its roots deeply embedded in
racism. In 1875, the first anti-drug ordinance was passed in San
Francisco, because authorities at the time were afraid of Chinese
men luring "white women" into promiscuous activities using
In the early 1900's, the idea of the "Negro Cocaine Fiend"
was highly publicized as someone who was prone to violent sexual
rampages against white women. Outlawing marijuana in 1937 was a
repressive measure against Mexican migrant workers who were crossing
the borders and taking jobs during the Great Depression. Marijuana
was supposed to promote violence within the "degenerate races."
No evidence to any of this has ever been verified.
This is not to say that all drugs should be legalized, for
which some groups have been pushing. Not at all. There is
a serious drug problem in this country right now. According
to the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, 46.4%
of the U. S. population (12-years-old and above) have used
an illegal drug. With the economy at its present condition
and limited resources to throw at the War on Drug, it is important
that we focus on the correct way of dealing with drugs in
the U. S.
The War on Drugs would do well to continue efforts to keep
drugs out of the country. Education, treatment and changing
societal thinking also needs to be addressed in a bigger way.
Sending people to prison for minor drug offenses instead of
rehab is definitely not the way to address current problems.
Drug courts have shown to be popular alternatives, which have
proven to be more humane and effective in combating substance
With so many special interest groups, pony-ing up their views
on the War on Drugs and what needs to be done, its been difficult
to separate the history and emotion from the current needs
of our individuals and societal changes that must occur. Educating
ourselves and clarifying our own beliefs is the first step.
The second step is educating our children by example. And
not just educating our children about drugs, but about helping
them to heal the pain that may make them susceptible to turning
to drugs in the first place. When you come down to it, its
not about the War on Drugs at all. It's about the War on Pain.